San Jose center Patrick Marleau waves to the crowd during a small ceremony to mark his passing Gordie Howe for most NHL games played in the first period Monday in Las Vegas. John Locher/Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Patrick Marleau surpassed “Mr. Hockey” for the most games played in NHL history.

Marleau skated in his 1,768th career game to break Gordie Howe’s record when the San Jose Sharks took on the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night.

Though it was on the road, an exuberant pro-Golden Knights crowd gave Marleau a rousing welcome during warmups.

Marleau’s wife, Christina, and four sons were in attendance, which wouldn’t be possible in San Jose, where fans still aren’t allowed during the pandemic.

“My wife, I couldn’t have done it without her over all these years,” an emotional Marleau said prior to San Jose’s morning skate. “She’s by far my biggest supporter. I can’t thank her enough and I can’t thank the boys enough.

“My biggest fear is that I don’t thank everybody, that I’m going to miss somebody. If I miss somebody, I’m so sorry, but I will eventually, you know, try and make it right and thank everybody that needs to be thanked. Just very grateful.”

Over his career, the 41-year-old Marleau has made 1,596 appearances with the Sharks, 164 with the Toronto Maple Leafs and an additional eight as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Howe played in 1,767 regular-season games and 419 more in the World Hockey Association, the latter of which are not recognized by the NHL.

“I feel very fortunate to have a front row seat for it,” said Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer, who coached Marleau for two-plus seasons in San Jose. “I feel fortunate that I know the man and the athlete having coached him. He was a gentleman. He was a great teammate. That’s gonna be one of those things I’ll be able to tell my grandkids about one day, that not only did I coach him, but I was there for that night, pretty special accomplishment.”

During his almost quarter-century career, Marleau has 566 goals, 1,196 points, three All-Star appearances and two Olympic gold medals for Canada in 2010 and ’14.

CANUCKS: The NHL has suspended Vancouver defenseman Alexander Edler for two games for kneeing Toronto forward Zach Hyman. Edler also will forfeit $103,448 under the terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement and will be eligible to return on Saturday.

The collision happened in the second period of Vancouver’s 3-2 overtime win Sunday when Edler took out Hyman in front of the Leafs bench. The left winger dropped hard to the ice and stayed down for several minutes before play was halted and a trainer came to his aid. Hyman went directly to the locker room and did not return.

The Canucks were playing their first game since March 24 after being sidelined by a COVID-19 outbreak.

DEVILS: New Jersey signed first-round pick Alexander Holtz to a three-year, entry-level contract starting next season. Devils General Manager Tom Fitzgerald announced Monday that Holtz also signed an American Hockey League amateur try-out agreement for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. He will join Binghamton after finishing his quarantine period.

The seventh pick overall in the draft, Holtz recently finished his Swedish Hockey League season with seven goals and 11 assists in 40 games for Djurgardens. The Swedish forward added two goals and two assists in three playoff games, which tied for the team lead in scoring.

Tampa Bay Brayden Point, right, avoids the check from Carolina’s Brady Skjei during the Lightning’s 3-2 win on Monday in Tampa, Fla. Mike Carlson/Associated Press

MONDAY’S GAMES

LIGHTNING 3, PANTHERS 2 (OT): Yanni Gourde scored 2:50 into overtime as Tampa Bay beat Carolina. Alex Killorn and Brayden Point also scored for the Lightning. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 25 saves.

Andrei Svechnikov and Brady Skjei scored for Carolina, which has only one regulation loss in the past eight games. Petr Mrazek stopped 33 shots.

PANTHERS 4, BLUE JACKETS 2: Frank Vatrano scored two goals, Anthony Duclair had a pair of assists and the Panthers beat Columbus in Sunrise, Florida.

Sam Bennett and Radko Gudas also scored for the Panthers, who have won five straight games against the Blue Jackets and gone 6-0-1 in their last seven meetings. Vatrano’s second goal was an empty-netter at 18:38 of the third after he was stopped on a penalty shot earlier in the period.

Florida netminder Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves. Elvis Merzlikins turned back 35 shots for the Blue Jackets.

STARS 3, RED WINGS 2 (SO): Denis Gurianov scored in the fifth round of a shootout as Dallas beat visiting Detroit.

Roope Hintz and rookie Jason Robertson both scored in regulation for the Stars, with Miro Heiskanen assisting on both goals. Robertson also converted the first shootout attempt for Dallas. Anton Khudobin stopped 20 shots before the shootout, including a glove save reaching around a defender with less than three minutes left in regulation.


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